Monday, January 31, 2011

It's all away!

I just finished putting away the last of Christmas and the snowmen too. This means that I can't be held responsible for the monster storm that is headed our way. The worst part of this one is the prediction of freezing rain. Never a fun thing to drive in.

This little guy was left out because he has the question of the day. I think everyone is asking this now and hoping for "soon" as the answer. 

I have cancelled my plans for breakfast out and have started my to-do list for the day. As I've said before, I love to make a list and then check things off.

2-Making birthday cards
3-Decorate for Valentine's Day

And then there is the sub-list for sewing and at the top is laying out the wedding quilt. Now that my tree is away, the living room floor has more space to lay out a quilt. (Must put a design wall on my list, bigger than what I have cooked up).

I leave you with a picture of some silk flowers I bought in Hawaii. I love how they look in the vase that Candy gave each of us on our vacation. She made them for us and they are so lovely.

Christmas is over...

At least it is finally ending in my house. I was hoping to sew yesterday but spent most of the day taking down Christmas. This involves bringing in tub after tub and putting all the decorations away and putting out the tchotchkes and things I usually have out. It is a bit like having Christmas again when I open those packages.

My other decorating job to be done is getting out some Valentine's Day decorations. It is closer than we think. Luckily there aren't as many of those decorations to put out.

I think I will put away the snowmen too. We have had so much snow and it is staying around longer than usual. Another storm is coming tonight and through Wednesday. I have a friend who is convinced that my snowmen are responsible for all this snow.

The bad part about this one is the prediction of ice. That is not a favorite of anyone. The good part is being forced to stay inside and sewing.

Enjoy this flower from Hawaii and think spring!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Almost there

 I made the last two blocks for the wedding quilt. I now have 3 houses for the quilt. Two will represent the homes they lived in before getting married and one is the house they bought together. All three together will represent their neighborhood. With these I have a total of 15 blocks and couldn't find another one I wanted to add so I needed to make some fillers. I decided to just sew strips together.

 So... I now have 20 blocks total. My big decision will have to be whether to make it 5 rows of 4 or 4 rows of 5. I know it will still be the same size but it will affect the layout. My regular design wall is not going to work for this one. I may have to use the floor. It is getting there!

And just one more little snow comment. This is the view outside after the plows came through and the Caterpillar moved some snow. I'm convinced that I won't really see my neighbor's houses until the spring thaw. That is coming sometime, right? 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Snow (soon to be sew) day!

This has been a great day at home with 3 hours outside shoveling with my neighbors. We had fun as well as clearing everyone out of their drives and parking spaces. I do live in the best neighborhood in the world.

I had planned to sew all day but other things kept getting in the way. One thing I did do was watch the last segment of Oprah's trip to Australia. I was so moved by the whole thing as I relived a trip I took a few years ago to Australia and New Zealand. It was wonderful and I would go back in a minute. Wish I had been in Oprah's audience the day she announced the trip. What a wonderful country.

I'm doing this as a quick post to wish all Australians a Happy Australia Day! I may be a tad late since there is a time difference but send good wishes anyway.

Back to sewing. Who knows there might be a sewing post later tonight. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A quick question for all

I am ready to put the binding on a long-awaited quilt. I realized that the backing fabric is ample to just fold over and use as the binding. Has anyone ever done that? Just thinking that it might get done quicker and it is the fabric I plan to use for the binding anyway. Any ideas out there?

Monday, January 24, 2011

When life gets in the way...

I went to a baby shower on Saturday and then stayed overnight with friends. It was a good weekend and time with friends at the shower and with my friends in Harrisburg. Coming home about 5:30 I was looking forward to relaxing with the papers and mail and then doing some sewing. Didn't happen.

As I rounded the corner to my house I noticed a LARGE pool of water and ice in the corner.  A little puzzled I headed to my driveway only to see water gushing out under my garage door. You never saw anyone move so quickly! I jumped out of the car and was slightly relieved to see that the water was pouring from a pipe in the garage that connects to my garden hose. It was pouring out in buckets and as you can see from the pictures, made a skating rink in the street in front of my house.

Luckily it was not my hot water heater as I first feared, I was able to shut it off, sort of, and  only minor damage to walls and stuff below the break. I had help from a neighbor to get it shut off but couldn't get it totally stopped so I had to wait for a plumber all day today. He turned it off with a wrench and told me it would cost $275 to fix the pipe. (That would sure buy a lot of fabric, darn it.) Decided to delay that since I'm not using that hose for a while.

Needless to say, no sewing was done but I have hopes for tomorrow. The fabric I showed at the top of the page is what I've chosen to to use for the baby quilt for my friend's new granddaughter, due in March. Can you see me thinking I have lots of time?

Friday, January 21, 2011

A day at home

A view of Honolulu from the high peaks

Just love to have a full day at home and especially after being away, a chance to catch up. I only left the house to get the paper, shovel the driveway and get the mail. In between I worked my way through my list but slowly. I thought I would sew but just didn't get to it.

I can't remember if I ever shared this before but I live on the sunny side of our street. It was so helpful today after I cleared the snow, the sun did the rest. Right now my driveway and sidewalk are dry as a bone. I love it.

I don't have my own sewing to share but I do have some show and tell. The first picture is one of the pillow covers that I bought. It is a traditional pattern. I just love the pattern and the echo stitching. When I was talking to the quilt teacher about patterns she was telling me that they use the trees, leaves and flowers around them. When I told her I lived in Pennsylvania, she said that we have beautiful foliage here and I should use that. Hmmmm.
 Here is the fabric that I bought on my quick race through the fabric store. I was the only quilter in our group so I didn't want the others to have to wait. Amazing what you can find when you're in a hurry. I loved the Hawaiian prints. Not sure what I will do with them but I have them. The black fabric on the right has all kinds of tropical drinks on it. Very fun.
These are a few of the books that I bought. I tried to find a few that gave instruction and a few that are just thoughtful examinations of the tradition. I found the pineapple pattern at the fabric shop. Looks like an interesting pattern to make. Wonder how long it will take me to make that one?!!

Guess what I saw!

I have been away from posting for a while because I was vacationing in HAWAII! I went there to visit a high school friend and was joined by 4 other friends from across the country.  Jean has lived there for over 5 years and planned a wonderful itinerary for us. We were all over Oahu and saw so very much thanks to careful planning.
Even though there was torrential rain and gale force winds the first part of the week,  we had a great time.

I will be sharing some other pictures with you but had to show one of the high points for me. I saw some quilters working on Hawaiian quilts! We visited Queen Emma's Palace and I must have mentioned quilting. When I did, the docent told me the quilters were there that day. I could hardly wait for the tour to end so I could see them!

Not a surprise, the teacher was very gracious and even though they were packing up, they were willing to show me what they were working on, let me take pictures, and even shared some of the patterns. Throughout the week, I picked up a few pattern and history books to add to my collection! It is definitely on my someday list. 

Opening the cut pattern. I always thought it was cut in quarters but learned it was in eighths. This shows placing the pattern on the fabric. 


And then basted. Notice the echo quilting on the finished pillowtops they were making.

There were other examples of these quilts just about everywhere we went. Of course, I couldn't take pictures of the ones in the museums but they were beautiful.

Time to go, have to work on that to-do list. More pictures to come. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Slow and steady...

...gets the work done. I just spent less than 30 minutes and made another block for the wedding quilt. The blocks really do go together quickly. This one is my second house block. I want to make one more of those and an evergreen and then I can put it together.

And even better was watching the end of Pretty Woman while sewing. I just love that movie and can never see it too many times. What are the movies you love to see over and over?

We had a lovely snow this morning. Just enough to cover the ground and being a weekend it didn't hurt traffic too much. It was a lovely day to stay home all day and watch the snow fall.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Aren't they too cute?

I had a lovely afternoon. Several of the people I worked with at the Christmas Village met this afternoon and spent a couple of hours catching up and enjoying each other's company. It is such a great group of people and it was really nice to see them again. And even better, it was warm inside. 

Heather surprised me with the cute little mice at the top of this page. They are little Hallmark ornaments and each one is something to do with sewing. I love them. They are wee little and I want to share them with one of the classes at school. They are perfect to accompany a story called Something From Nothing. In the story the little mice are shown at the bottom of the page and they are using the snips and threads that are being cut off different pieces of fabric. These are just like the ones in the story. 

I also made a little bit of progress on the wedding quilt. This is the next block that I made. The couple have a special connection to a blue bird so it seemed perfect to make one of the birds for the quilt. I only have 3 more blocks to go and then I can put it all together. I am loving this quilt and love the book that has the patterns. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our 8th meeting!

Our Good Enough Quilters group met tonight. We were all a little surprised when we realized it was our eighth meeting. And happy to realize that it only took us 7 meetings to decide on our name.

I was thrilled to be able to actually share some sewing this time. Cindy had delivered my finished quilt that I made for a friend's birthday last year. It has taken this long to get some quilting done. Shhh. Don't tell her it is almost done. I just have to bind the quilt and it will be finished. The quilting group did a great job with the stitching. One way you look it is a fleur de lis and another way you see hearts. I love it.

Karen shared her hooked rugs and her punch needle with us. We were all quite impressed and Lynn realized that she had met Karen years ago at a craft show. Small world.

This is our 8th meeting and 7th block that we've made so far. It is still interesting to see how different fabrics make a different look for each block. We pretty much decided that we would make 12 and then move on to another project.

It was my turn to choose a block to make. After almost showing the wrong one, I figured it out and showed them this. I won't have to make a new block for next month so I can catch up on some other projects. Keep an eye out for them.

Right before we left Fran shared her block from the Pennington BOM. Aren't they such pretty colors.?!
We're all looking forward to our next meeting. We'll be going to the home of a friend of Cindy's who is a fabulous quilter. Can't wait to see all her quilts. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Catching up!

 Today was a great day to catch up and I actually did some sewing in the daylight. My sewing room gets the afternoon sun so it was perfect light for sewing. We are having our quilt group meeting tomorrow night so I wanted to catch up with my blocks. The one at the top is the new block for this month. It was my turn so the pressure was on. Being someone who works best under pressure... If anyone from my group is reading this, they get a sneak peek.

I can't decide if I'm happy with my fabric choice. I love the fabric but don't always have the right size piece to cut. The ones I made today have a few pieced sections. I was able to find more "solid" colors on ebay and expect to get them by the end of the week. I do love the lavender and sunflower theme of the design.

If you look at the side of my blog, you'll notice a new button. I was reading some blogs today and loved what Kelly had to say on her Charming Chatter blog. Be sure to click on the blog and read what she has to say. I do plan to sew for the pleasure of it. I do have goals but won't let them take the joy out of the creating. 
This month,

I want to catch up with the 3 BOM's that I signed up for. I have them all in their proper containers and ready to sew. 

Another goal is to finish the wedding quilt. I have four more blocks to finish and then put it together. I can do it. 

I did also just find out about a baby shower I'll be going to. That does mean a quilt. I may wind up giving a box of the chosen fabric and finish after since it's coming up and the next few weeks are pretty busy. This is the way to give a gift several times over, right? 

Happy sewing, everyone!